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Rural Western Australia

What is it like to live and work there?
12 years ago, July 30th 2008 No: 1 Msg: #43686  
I have been offered a 457 visa to work in rural WA from January 2009. I have two weeks training in Perth before moving to a school in rural WA to work (rural is basically anywhere outside of the Perth metropolitan zone) The WA Govt find me a house, a job and give me a great salary but I'm a bit apprehensive!

I have heard that some parts of rural WA are very isolated, and even though at interview I was told they send people to the 'larger towns' I wonder what it would be like living there. If I came on a Working Holiday Visa I probably wouldn't go near the rural areas, keeping to the big cities. I can't drive (at the moment anyway) so I was wondering what transport is like in rural areas?

I'd ideally like to be sent to somewhere like Bunbury, Albany or Broome (Bunbury becauses it's near Perth and the other two because they look awesome!) I just was wondering if anyone could tell me what it's like in WA (particularly rural) and maybe what to expect?

I've lived my whole life in Northern Ireland up until now (only travelling to various parts of Europe for holidays) so this is a HUGE thing for me to do. I 'm so excited but still somewhat unsure! Particularly since its rural! I think I'd be much more relaxed if it was Perth I would be working in
Reply to this

12 years ago, July 31st 2008 No: 2 Msg: #43785  
B Posts: 27
WA is awesome! But it's also MASSIVE so it's hard to say what you'll expect.

Bunbury and Albany are both in the south, so the climate is very different from the rest of the state. The land is more lush and forested, and the coast is more rugged. It's very very pretty down there. January will be summertime so it will be hot, but not as hot as other places. The south is also great if you're a wine lover!

Broome is way up in the North so the climate is very different. If you'll be there in January, you'll be there in the middle of the wet season so make sure you bring good raingear! It will still be hot, but very rainy. If you'll be there for the full year, in the winter months will be the dry season so you should see LOTS of sunshine. Broome is the most beautiful place I have ever been - the sunset on cable beach I don't think you could ever get sick of. The town itself is a mix between aboriginals and people involved in tourism so it's an interesting culture...

You may be in the middle somewhere. One the coast there are 'big towns' such as Geraldton and Carnarvon but there are also some big mining towns far from the coast, such as Kalgoorlie. These places are hot and dry, like a desert. Especially in January, which is the summer.

The big thing for you will probably be culture shock. Rural WA is mostly populated with aboriginals, farmers, and people involved in mining. Depending on what town you're in you could get a different mix of these types of people.

As for transit - I never had to rely on this, I always travelled with tours (or by plane to Broome). I remember staying in hostels and seeing notice boards for people driving to various places, so you might want to go to a hostel to look for rides. It also might be worth investing in a car, just so you aren't completely isolated. There are probably buses between the bigger towns and Perth, though. You'll have to look into it. Skywest is also a WA airline which flies between the bigger towns - it's expensive but it may be the best option if you need to travel a long distance (from places like Broome to Perth would take several days by car so often a plane is a best choice!)

I suggest you find out where you'll be working ASAP to allow yourself to prepare for the weather and the culture. Wherever you go I'm sure it will be beautiful (WA is amazing) and a competely life-changing experience!!

Let me know if you have any more questions, and feel free to check out my blog for pictures of WA.
~Dafne~ Reply to this

12 years ago, August 5th 2008 No: 3 Msg: #44381  
I'll echo everything Dafne said...

WA is incredible... Due to it's size it has everything, but also a whole lot of nothing! We bought a van in Perth, travelled round the south west then up the coast until finally entering the Northern territories...

The isolation we experienced was pretty much the highlight for my wife and I and I'm sure I'll never see a night sky that beautiful again, but then could I live in that isolation for an extended period of time... probably not!

Of course if you do manage to bag yourself a job in Broome and don't want to go, can I go in your place? Broome was THE highlight for me... really really beautiful... it's amazing how mant times you can watch the sun drop over the horizon and not get bored! 😊 Reply to this

12 years ago, August 5th 2008 No: 4 Msg: #44440  
B Posts: 71
Ahh yes WA.. That place that is so big, a lot of us other Australians make fun of it. Make no mistake, WA is incredible and Im sure you´ll have a great time. Here are some facts for you to consider.

* WA is 2,645,615 km². In other words, if it were a country, it would be the 7th largest country on earth (excluding Australia itself).

* The population of the state is about 2.1 million which means about 0.83 people fit into each km² (as opposed to 59 per km² in Ireland). However 1.5 million of those live in Perth and another 300 000 live in the other areas in the South West (Bunbury, Albany etc..). That means about 300 000 other people are spread throughout the rest of the state.

* WA is so vast that there are places so remote, they have not seen humans for several decades.

I guess it depends on the type of work you will be doing but generally I hear people doing oil work live near the ocean and people doing mining live inland. In the end, if you dont like it, you can go home. However, I'm sure you will love it. Reply to this

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